The Best Journal
Here's the One I Get
Every year, I treat myself to another one of these lovely journals. When I first started keeping a diary, way back in college, I bought really cheap ones at Woolworth's. Unfortunately those old black, fake leather bindings have started falling apart and are held together with rubber bands now.
In 1996, I discovered this diary and have stuck with it ever since. The bindings are super-sturdy and well-stitched so I expect them to last my lifetime and beyond. Some people may like an unlined page, but for me the lines keep my writing straight and even as I fill up the page.
By having the date on each page, it beckons me to write every single day. I hate to see a blank page. Sometimes when I miss a day, I return later to fill it in.
It's a tradition in my family to keep diaries and below you'll see photos of ones dating back to the Civil War and to World War I. More recently, my grandmother kept a diary and my mother did as well. These are treasures to our family, our links to the past.
My life is pretty ordinary and my opinions, my activities, my concerns aren't great literature. Perhaps writing in a journal is more about the writing than it is about the reading. I don't worry about who will read it one hundred years from now. I write it for myself.
Treat yourself to one of these and start a tradition in your family. Get them to give as gifts to your friends or family members too.
Description: The picture here doesn't do this journal justice. The covers are a rich wine red with a bit of shimmer, like a moire pattern. The lettering is gold (not yellow).
Sometimes You Don't Feel Inspired.
That's when you need a book like this. Just flip it open to any page and you find a question or a prompt that will trigger your writing. Since it has 365 journal writing ideas, you could even make it a project and work your way through day-by-day from the front to the back. You'll never be at a loss for what to write.
Family Diaries from 1865 Onward
I Come from a Family of Diary KeepersClick thumbnail to view full-size
My Journal Keeping Led Me to an Interest in Civil War Diaries
- Interpreting Civil War Diaries
There's a wealth of letters, diaries and other hand-written documents from the American Civil War, but it isn't always easy to understand what you are reading. Unfamiliar handwriting, archaic abbreviations, no-longer-used words, faded ink and...
- Civil War Journals Online - Confederate
If you're a Civil War buff or a student needing primary source material for a paper, you'll find the links you need here. I'm a librarian and have compiled a state-by-state list of online Civil War diaries written by soldiers who fought for the...
- Women's Civil War Diaries
I'm researching the lives of my Civil War ancestors, Abraham Bates Tower and his wife, Nancy Angeline, I was delighted that he had a pocket diary that was passed down in the family. How wonderful it would be to have a diary for his wife too. This...
- Civil War Diaries Online - The North
One of the family treasures is the pocket diary that belonged to my great-great grandfather who survived the Civil War. It's amazing that something so small can be so valuable in terms of the information contained in the pages. Fortunately for...
Do You Keep a Diary?
My Civil War Ancestor Used His Diary to Keep the Family History Safe
Other Diary Keepers in Our Family
- Abraham Bates Tower: Civil War Veteran
Years ago, I read Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor and was appalled at the starvation and hardships that the prisoners endured there during the Civil War. Little did I know that my own great-great-grandfather was a prisoner there after being...
- Albert Vining in World War I
The earnest young soldier in this photo is my great-uncle, Albert Vining. He served in France during World War I and this page is to honor his service to his country. Albert and his wife, Vina Vining had no children so when they died, their...